Saturday, July 16, 2011

Movie Review: Horrible Bosses

(Left to Right): Bateman, Day and Sudeikis
Horrible Bosses (2011)
Directed By: Seth Gordon
Starring: Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx

The same summer that gave us the uninspired comedy sequel The Hangover 2 has also given filmgoers two fresh, hilarious hits -- Bridesmaids and, now, Horrible Bosses.

We've all had our fair share of unlikeable bosses -- but did we dislike them enough to actually want to conspire to kill them? (If the answer is yes, maybe keep that bit to yourself). Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis play three average joes whose only real excitement in their lives is the stress level they reach at work -- all three have nightmare bosses that make the workplace a living hell.

Nick (Bateman), Kurt (Sudeikis) and Dale (Day) conspire to do away with each of their bosses during a drunken visit to the pub one night. Why do their bosses inspire such hatred in the seemingly harmless pals? Nick's boss, David Harken (Spacey), enjoys tormenting and publicly humiliating him, going so far as to withhold a job promotion from Nick, simply because he can. Kurt, on the other hand, is devastated when Bobby Pellitt (an unrecognizable Farrell), the son of Kurt's beloved (and recently deceased) boss, takes over for his old man and proceeds to make everyone miserable in the process. And, finally, there's Dale, who elicits the least amount of sympathy from his two pals because his boss is the beautiful Dr. Julia Harris (Aniston) -- a dentist who has taken a particular liking to Dale and sexually harasses him on a daily basis. The three friends hire Dean "Motherfucker" Jones (Foxx) as a "murder guru" of sorts, in an attempt to come up with a plan that will satisfy all three of them and free them from those evil overlords.

Audiences can take comfort in knowing that these three buffoons could never actually successfully pull off a triple homicide, allowing you to just sit back and enjoy the ride. It's that rare dark comedy that has a few surprising tricks up its sleeve to keep you guessing about the outcome until the very end.

Bateman and Sudeikis both play characters similar to those they've played numerous times before, but their comedic timing is impeccable, especially the droll and sarcastic Bateman -- a master of understated comedy. As for this Day fellow, I've never seen him in anything but his small stature and impish charm actually reveal a large talent for hilarious scene-stealing. He usually overshadows his other two co-stars with his manic energy and perfect comedic timing. 

Farrell as Bobby Pellitt
Spacey excels at playing evil, conniving men -- and his character, David, is the most unlikeable of the three bosses because he's probably the closest to how some top corporate men can be in real life. You hate the guy and that's all thanks to Spacey's ability to inspire loathing.

Aniston is probably the most shocking, playing against type. She's never been raunchier in her entire career and, for the first time, has eliminated any passing thoughts of her Rachel Green character from Friends. She's such a funny comedienne, and it's great to finally see her cut loose.

The standout, though, is Farrell. With his receding hairline (complete with wispy comb-over) and added paunch, he a coarse, vulgar and rude cocaine addict who gets off on ruling the roost. Not only does he get in some great one-liners, but just watching him roll around the office in his chair will make audiences laugh.

In the middle of yet another summer movie season full of blockbuster sequels and comic book adaptations, Horrible Bosses stands out as one of Hollywood's better offerings -- a genuinely funny film with an all-star cast that each bring something different to the table. Here's hoping they don't ruin this film by giving it countless sequels.



  1. Awesome review Laura. Can't wait to see it. I have seen Charlie Day in the TV series It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia for the past 5 years or so. He is funny as hell on that show. Check it out sometime. Once again great review.

  2. Cough cough spluter splutter!!...a movie WITHOUT CGI overload!! I'm looking forward to this as the premise is something we all can fantasise about in some way!
    It will be nice to go to my local theatre and see a movie with just people in it and not robots or green lanterns or x-men oo kids on brooms!!

  3. @Monty: Thanks! :) I'll definitely have to check that series out. I know a few people who watch it and they all really love it. Charlie Day was great in this movie, though, so I'm sure you'll love him.

  4. @Brent: I know! Haha. It's a crazy concept that Hollywood sometimes actually manages to catch on to sometimes. As I said, though, I just hope they don't ruin this with sequels (like they did with The Hangover ...and basically everything else).

  5. I saw this today and agree with you 100% It really is what I'd call a quiet sleeper as I didn't think anyone really expected it to be as good as it has turned out to be. I laughed from start to finish and just had pure fun with it.
    But isn't Justin Bateman just perfect for these types of roles?! And Aniston is an actress I can quite happily live without but she is a standout...I honestly couldn't believe the smut that came out of her mouth! So against type as you said.